Abbot Jeremy Driscoll is a Benedictine monk of Mount Angel Abbey in Oregon.  He teaches at Mount Angel Seminary and the Pontifical University of Sant’ Anselmo, Rome.  Following are notes on Father Jeremy Driscoll’s presentation “What Happens at Mass” at Saint Bernard’s on March 18, 2017 in Billings, Montana.  For complete information please refer to “What Happens At Mass” Revised Edition by Jeremy Driscoll, OSB.

All who come to mass have joys and sorrows. All of the assembly’s work is collected with the sorrows and joys.  The assembly’s collection is taken to the altar by people representing those who are in the pews.

Collecting the Gifts  – Each person of the Assembly has the grace of being part of the Assembly.  The many stories are collected and represented in the bread and wine. The Assembly’s work and hours of our lives is collected in the money and sacrifice for the work of the Church.  (Romans 12:1)

Bringing the Gifts to the Bishop or Priest – The entire Assembly is represented by a few carrying the bread and wine and various vessels often including money to the Altar area and presented to the presider.  This is a product of cooperation between the Creator and human beings.

The Prayers of Presentation has little mysteries preparing the gifts. I pray with the Assembly that the gifts offered will be acceptable to God.  With the whole Church offering thanks and praise; I remember, I call forth the Holy Spirit.  Code is “And with your spirit” indicating the Eucharist Prayer is next.

The Prayers of Presentation is transformation anticipation of the bread and wine.

Little Mysteries are Water Mixed with Wine; Incense; Washing the Hands and ancient actions that have a lot of meaning.

MYSTERYWater Mixed with Wine – The mystery is started by the deacon or priest inaudibly.  He says, “By the mystery of this water and wine may we come to share in the divinity of Christ, who humbled himself to share in our humanity.”  The water placed in the wine represents our poor humanity, which will be completely joined to Christ’s divinity in the course of what follows.*

MYSTERY  – As early as the middle of the third century Saint Cyprian of Carthage was talking this way.  He said to never offer the wine without water since that would be like offering Christ without his people.  It is a little gesture.  As a bonus, it has long been done and is a striking mystery.*

 MYSTERYIncense – The gifts brought to the altar are incensed marking them as holy including the bread and wine.  Then the altar is marked out as holy.  The incensing action shift to honor the bishop as head of the body.  The Assembly is incensed by the representation of who brought the gifts to the altar and to indicate they themselves are what lies on the altar.  The whole church becomes a sweet smelling offering rising up to the Father.* 

MYSTERYWashing the Hands – The priest washes his hands saying inaudibly “Wash me, O Lord, from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.”  As I see the priest washing his hands, all of the Assembly is reminded of the same.  There is a shift.   Christ will utilize the hands of the priest as His own hands for there is only one priest.*

*Information from “What Happens at Mass”  Revised Edition by Abbot Jeremy Driscoll; Liturgy Training Publications 2011.  64-66.   © Reverend Brian J Fischer, STL,  IMPRIMATUR Most Reverend Raymond E Goedert, MA, STL JCL Vicar General, Archbishop of Chicago September 24, 2004.  Print.

The Prayer Over The Offerings is the sacrifice offered only through Christ praying for the transformation of the gifts and of the Assembly’s lives. To all that has happened from collecting the gifts to this moment, I say “Amen“.

The biggest prayer of all follows.

Liturgy of the Eucharist – Next Page

Liturgy of the Word – Previous Page

Notes on the Mass – Start of Section